Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Housing Starts decline in March

by Bill McBride on 4/17/2012 08:30:00 AM

From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000. This is 5.8 percent (±15.6%)* below the revised February estimate of 694,000, but is 10.3 percent (±14.6%)* above the March 2011 rate of 593,000.

Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 462,000; this is 0.2 percent (±12.6%)* below the revised February figure of 463,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 178,000.

Building Permits:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 747,000. This is 4.5 percent (±1.1%) above the revised February rate of 715,000 and is 30.1 percent (±1.6%) above the March 2011 estimate of 574,000.

Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 462,000; this is 3.5 percent (±1.1%) below the revised February figure of 479,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 262,000 in March.
Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts Click on graph for larger image.

Total housing starts were at 654 thousand (SAAR) in March, down 5.8% from the revised February rate of 694 thousand (SAAR). Note that February was revised down from 698 thousand.

Single-family starts declined 0.2% to 462 thousand in March. February was revised up to 463 thousand from 457 thousand.

The second graph shows total and single unit starts since 1968.

Total Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts This shows the huge collapse following the housing bubble, and that total housing starts have been increasing lately after sideways for about two years and a half years.

Total starts are up 37% from the bottom, and single family starts are up 31% from the low.

This was well below expectations of 700 thousand starts in March, but mostly because of multi-family starts.

All Housing Investment and Construction Graphs

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